Questions tagged [awkward-situations]

For questions about situations which are awkward for anyone concerned. This tag should be used when awkwardness is the key part of the problem.

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18
votes
5answers
4k views

How can I decline a hug without offending?

My boyfriend shares an apartment with an older man who has a physical disability which prevents him from walking. The housemate is very kind and intelligent. However, sometimes when I am alone with ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How to say you already want to leave the party decently (you're just bored)?

It's a minor social party for friends and it doesn't go very well. You've been there for an hour or two and it's not really lightening up. You want to go home but have no pragmatic reasons, you just ...
38
votes
7answers
11k views

How to tell a friend I can see through her swimming suit

I (male) and a friend (female) went swimming in a public outdoor pool together. She met with another female friend there. When she (my friend) sat outside for a couple minutes the sun made her ...
63
votes
11answers
22k views

How to reduce the awkwardness on the way to the bedroom?

I am a man in my mid-40's and met some time ago an old friend (woman, mid-40's as well) when travelling (to her city). I traveled there again a few times (every few months) and it is obvious that a (...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I introduce my new name to my friends?

I am Max and I am a 19 year old college student from Spain. I had a very troubled childhood laced with mental illness and bullying. I have since moved on but I feel like my birth name (not included ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Responding to a man about the fact that they had been kissed by force

Some time ago (four years ago), I was eating in the cafeteria with a friend (let's call him Arthur) and a group of friends (4 people). Arthur wasn't a part of our regular friends group (even though we ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How to evade request to sit somewhere uncomfortable?

Background I was invited to my friend’s flat the other day to enjoy an infrequent visit. It isn’t often I spend time with her, so this was a special occasion. Her flat isn’t exactly high-end and is ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How to avoid being kissed by someone with braces?

Situation I have recently found myself in a position where someone I am attracted to has tried to kiss me. The only problem I really have with this— their braces. I quickly brushed them off before ...
0
votes
2answers
754 views

How can I reach out to a new guy I might have offended?

I met this guy last summer, we'll call him Chris. My friend was dating his roommate. All of us hung out in a group that night and I ended up sleeping at his and his roommates place just on the couch....
7
votes
3answers
765 views

How to politely decline an equipment rent request?

Recently, my acquaintance asked me to do him a favor. He wants to borrow my ski googles for a week-end (2 days). I don't really want to lend them to him, because we are not close at all, furthermore ...
6
votes
2answers
510 views

How to tactfully chase up free work from a friend

Some time ago an architect friend (who lives in a different part of the country to me) very kindly offered to draw up the plans for a house extension for free (I did offer to pay). So in short, there ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to refuse a hairdresser because I want someone who's cut my hair before, without being rude?

I went to have my haircut, and the first hairdresser who became available was the one I know the least, and has only cut my hair once or twice before. For context, I've lived in the area all my life ...
2
votes
1answer
295 views

How can I talk about my problems without having people exaggerate their gravity

Note: this is not a call for help or anything, I'm doing fine :) I want to open up and talk about my problems, anxieties and depressive periods. The thing is, I'm used to it and it's often not as big ...
3
votes
0answers
393 views

How do I change my name in the age of social media? [closed]

My parents invented a name and I have rolled with it well into my 20s. Althought it's made me into a person who I'm happy to be, I believe it is still very detrimental to my success and confidence. I ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

I have to work with an ex-friend, how can I limit the awkwardness of the situation?

Context I had this very good friend who told me a few days ago to stop any form of communication that is not work-related. Talking about the situation is not an option as she made it clear that she ...
4
votes
8answers
1k views

Is it possible to talk politics while knowing little about politics?

So I want to have conversations with some people at my school who are pretty political - they're in debate club and taking all these social sciences in school so they have a lot to talk about. Me, ...
13
votes
1answer
681 views

How do I tell my wife that a family member has just died with an illness they both have?

My wife has multiple sclerosis. Fortunately, hers is of the relapsing-remitting variety, which is one of the milder (in the long term) ones, and her treatment is doing wonders for her; she's only had ...
51
votes
11answers
22k views

“Stole” my friend's excitement about a personal project - how to deal with the fallout

Background: I work at a woodworking shop, doing design etc. and both myself and a colleague sometimes do personal projects using the tools, machinery etc. here in our own time. These projects are ...
26
votes
5answers
14k views

How to tell my professor that I don't understand the class and that I want office hours?

It's been a while (about 2 weeks) since I stopped understanding anything in class and I am afraid to tell the professor about my situation because she may get upset with me (which is obviously a not ...
119
votes
18answers
52k views

How to talk to a girl who's sitting next to me but wearing headphones?

Over the past couple of weeks, there's been this really cute girl who sits near me inside a coffee shop, which has a cozy, "productive" vibe to it -- everyone's doing work on their laptops. I want to ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

How to handle people who don't get along on Stack Exchange?

Active users of Stack Exchange tend to frequent multiple sites and chat rooms, so it means we will tend to bump into the same people in different places. People don't always click, and will disagree ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

How to find out, if it is ok to hug (opposite sex)?

I am male and I regularly hug my good male and good female friends. At the very least when saying Hello and Goodbye. I have the feeling that is not uncommon here in Germany. Now, I have a a small ...
34
votes
6answers
9k views

How to open up to someone about loving them, when you don't know if they love you back?

I feel attracted to someone. I did have a relationship with her before (we were little children at that time, 5-7 years old), but we couldn't continue because of age and distance. We are both ...
7
votes
2answers
582 views

How to reassure my mother about the fact that forgetting my birthday does not mean I'm mad at her?

Background I turned 23 yesterday. Last year, my mother forgot my birthday, mostly because she was working in a country in a timezone 6+ hours behind mine and didn't realize it was that late at my ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

How to politely tell landlord “you don't have to remind me for rent”

I have been living in this house for the last four months and always paid my rent on the first day of the month. My landlord is an old lady living in the same house with me. We have a very good ...
5
votes
3answers
785 views

Is it acceptable to intrude a celebrity's conversation, if so, how to be tactful?

Recently, I was on a public book launch connected with an intellectual debate. There were many famous people whose face I know from the news, many of them I very much respect but have no actual ...
19
votes
5answers
7k views

How to decline a polite but insincere request

I recently got a new job, and I don't talk with people besides what is needed for work, because I'm in a time of my life where I don't want to interact with strangers if I don't have to. My ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I inform a foreign colleague that the private conversation in their native language is not so?

I enjoy learning languages and in the past few years, have been learning Spanish. A work colleague, who is either new or I have only just noticed him, calls (presumably) his partner during his lunch ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I prevent the gym instructor from talking to me?

In the gym I go to, we don't have personal trainers but gym instructors - they just stay there and guide pretty much everyone if they have doubts or they see someone exercising incorrectly. From what ...
48
votes
14answers
14k views

How to avoid an awkward situation when someone just thoroughly slammed something you like?

To put it broadly, this is about guilty pleasures, that are not accepted in one's social environment. This excludes more serious topics (politics, religion, legal/moral questions etc.). Think of ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I ask others to more quickly let me know about social mistakes I make?

I recently suffered a bit of a fallout in a teaching group I'm frequently a participant in. This was because I kept making brutally honest criticisms about their style of teaching (e.g. "your teaching ...
21
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I ask why they think I was being creepy?

I don't have the best social awareness, though I try to compensate, so occasionally after a party, or just time around people, a friend will message me to let me know that I was coming off creepy ...
3
votes
3answers
531 views

Is the person that comes up to you the one to initiate the topic of conversation? [closed]

Let's imagine that I go home after work and suddenly my colleague catches up with me and walks next to me. Since we have no common interests there is nothing to talk about or at least no any topic ...
25
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I recommend that someone delete their browsing history or use private mode?

Sometimes, I'm in a situation where I have to use my friend's, or colleague's, mobile phone to search for something, and they have tabs with pornographic websites opened, or their history shows they ...
97
votes
9answers
17k views

Refusing free goods as a blind person

As a severely visually impaired person, I use a white cane in the public and unfamiliar shops for identification purposes and as a mobility aid. I regularly encounter sellers at bakeries or fast food ...
8
votes
1answer
867 views

How can I talk to my grandfather about his public display of affections with a woman in my presence?

Our family takes turns watching over my grandpa since he's 92 and cannot live independently without assistance. I was at my grandpa's house over lunch and "Alice" stops by which was unusual- she is ...
6
votes
1answer
897 views

How can I refuse my brother's plan for an expensive trip?

I live in a developing country. My wife and I make US$32,000 yearly. My brother and his wife live and work in a developed country and make much more than us, probably 3 times more. Recently, some of ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Appropriate behavior after accidentally touching female player's chest in co-ed sports game

Recently I was invited to a co-ed indoor soccer game where all the participants were people from my company. At the time I didn't really know any of the other players personally and most of them I'd ...
8
votes
5answers
908 views

How do I defend my role in a situation, when the person who caused it is part of the conversation?

I've been in a situation like this a handful of times. I'll provide an example: In a competative online gaming group, one other person and I were responsible for a particular task (role). Because of ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Confronting my girlfriend's sister about trying to cuddle with us

When visiting my girlfriend's family, my girlfriend and I will usually wind up on a couch with the typical light-cuddling of a couple in a room with other people--legs across the other's lap, leaning ...
25
votes
5answers
50k views

How to contact a girl whose number I got from somebody else?

Situation Some days ago I went to a concert of the band of a good friend, let's call him Alex. He and his bandmates, invited a lot of friends to support them. I know Alex pretty well since we've been ...
37
votes
4answers
17k views

How to approach a friend about his girlfriend asking to sleep with me?

Context My girlfriend (let's call her Claire) shares a flat with a couple (let's call them Bob and Alice). Bob is a close friend of mine, and I get along pretty well with Alice. The three of them used ...
11
votes
2answers
770 views

How to gently and compassionately stop a stranger talking to you about their problems?

I recently dropped my wallet while shopping, reached out among local lost-and-found groups on Facebook, made contact with someone who found it and made arrangements with them to meet up so they can ...
97
votes
11answers
54k views

How to respond to someone when they ask how much you earn? [closed]

When I'm at social gatherings/parties, people would inquire about my job and, because I'm an app developer, they think I earn substantially more than I do. (Oh, the joy!) They then follow up asking ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Asking an ex-girlfriend out to coffee, now that she's married and has a child

One of my closest girl friends that I dated for a while - and then remained close friends with even after we decided to just be friends - got married over the past two years and also just had a baby. ...
30
votes
5answers
22k views

Same Gender Friends-with-Benefits [closed]

Context My friend and I are straight males and we both have girlfriends. We have been friends for quite a long while, and there are a few occasions where we've talked about friends-with-benefits (...
3
votes
2answers
643 views

How would one greet a person on his/her birthday today, especially when his/her father died yesterday?

How would one greet a person on his/her birthday today, (at least some sort of greeting to acknowledge his/her birthday) especially when his/her father died yesterday. I am from Sri Lanka and he is ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Handling awkward situations caused by morning erection around non-romantic partner

I'm an 18-year-old male. Some weeks ago, I and a female friend of mine went on a one-week cycling trip. We're almost exactly the same age, she's an old childhood friend, we've known each other ...
109
votes
17answers
25k views

How to let tech support subtly know that I am proficient without showing off?

I manage a couple of small websites for friends and family as their admin, ranging from installing wordpress to full-stack web development. In this position I often have to contact the support of ...
1
vote
1answer
539 views

Is it unwise to attempt to anger other drivers who are exiting the highway? [closed]

There have been many times while driving on the highway when another car has suddenly cut into my lane in order to get over to the right-most lane so they can exit the highway, and I had to slam on ...

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